We ate quite a bit of very good, very fresh seafood while on vacation. And we loved every bite of it too. But we are now craving something other than seafood. Now that the weather is getting a little cooler, and it is certainly cooler than it was in the tropics, it is time for something a little hardier than either salads or seafood. I thought a spicy pork loin would be just perfect. I found a recipe that really brought the pork loin to life and gave it a saucy kick as well. And it still had just enough of an island taste to make us feel we were still somewhat on vacation, and not really at home yet, getting back into our daily routines. I served it with garlic roasted red potatoes that I wrapped in foil and grilled, (we do this a lot) and a pepper and onion salad, along with a crisp chardonnay that had hints of citrus and apples.
1/2 onion, chopped
1 TBSP garlic
1-2 bay leaves
1/3 cup salt, kosher salt if you like. I tend not to use a lot of Kosher salt because I find it too “salty” for my tastes, but that is just a personal preference. _
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp fennel – either whole or seeds.
1-2 tsp black pepper
1/3 cup orange juice – or juice from 1 orange
1/3 cup lemon juice – or juice from 1 lemon
4 sprigs of fresh thyme or about 1 1/2 tsp of dried thyme
2 cups water
Mix everything together in a saucepan and bring to a rapid boil. Boil long enough for all the salt and sugar to completely dissolve. Add 2 cups of cold water once and pour our the pork loin. You can either put everything in a large plastic bag or a pan deep enough to hold the pork and all the liquid. Let chill in the refrigerator for at least 6-7 hours, up to 24 hours.
Once the pork has brined, dump the liquid and all it’s ingredients, then and pat the meat dry with a paper towel. Then coat completely with the spicy dry rub.
Spicy Dry Rub
1 TBSP coriander
1 TBSP fennel seeds
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 TBSP salt
1 TBSP black pepper
1 TBSP paprika
Mix everything together well and completely coat the pork loin or chops on all sides and let rest until you are ready to cook it. I cooked it as pork chops, so it does not need as long to cook as it would if I were cooking the whole pork loin. I grilled it, but you can also sear it and then roast it too if you choose. If you are cooking the whole pork loin, you want the internal temperature to be at least 145*F, and will take 45-60 minutes cooking, at a temperature of 400* on the grill or about 425* for 10 the first 10 minutes or so in the oven, then reduce the heat to 375* and continue cooking until it reaches the 145* internal temperature.
I topped my pork with a peach mustard, still using up some of my Palisade peaches Peaches from Palisade for the mustard. This tangy, spicy, sweet mustard really perked up the pork, especially with the spicy rub. All the flavors just blended together perfectly for a fabulous taste sensation.
1 large, ripe peach, peeled, seeded and cut into a small dice
2 TBSP sugar
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup Dijon mustard
1/3 cup whole grain mustard – I used garlic whole grain mustard
1 TBSP fresh chives or green onions, chopped fine
black pepper to taste
leftover spicy rub to taste – optional
Mix everything together and let chill. Spoon it on top of your pork when ready to serve. It will also go well with chicken too.